heat wave - continued
- I finally got a chance to check the original source book "Lizzie Borden Past
and Present" and on page 61, it cites the various weather reports for August
2 to August 4. For August 4, the U.S. Signal Service (not sure what that is)
said the temp was 67 at 7 am, 83 at 2 pm and 75 at 9 pm.
On the following page, three articles from the Lizze Borden Quarterly are
cited with this conclusion:
"Excellent documentation on the temperature on August 4, 1892, was presented
[in these articles]. A reproduction of the U.S. Weather Service document was
included by Mr. Maynard F. Bertolet, editor of the Lizzie Borden Quarterly.
Given the documentation, it can be recorded that the murders were not
committed on a sweltering hot day."
However, in smaller type below this, it says, "Note: No information was
located to determine the humidity on August 4, 1892."
So if it's not the heat... maybe it's the humidity!
Pat in NY
- On Mon, 30 Apr 2001 PatriciaLu@... wrote:
>I finally got a chance to check the original source book "Lizzie Borden PastThe precursor to today's Weather Service...
>and Present" and on page 61, it cites the various weather reports for August
>2 to August 4. For August 4, the U.S. Signal Service (not sure what that is)
The 'Signal Service' in those days were trained telegraphers, utilizing
Morse Code to send messages of importance...including the daily
>said the temp was 67 at 7 am, 83 at 2 pm and 75 at 9 pm.And I can tell you from experience, 83 in southern New England can be
quite sticky, if there's high humidity (and in August there usually
Also, if the Signal Service was utilizing a station down at the shore
(which I suspect, as that was the usual location in those days), and 83
reading at the shore could easily be 90 or more just a few miles
Again, utilizing my own experience, there have been many times in the
summer when it was in the 90s at my apartment, and yet when I got down to
the beach to fly my kites -- as the crow flies, approx. 7 miles away --
the temps have been in the low 80s...
Today, the local stations here in Connecticut are predicting temps in the
high 80s, perhaps 90 or more, inland, but saying that the shoreline temps
will only be in the 70s...
If I remember, I'll try to get the 11am and 2pm temps for both the
shoreline and where I work (about 5 miles inland) and post them today, to
show how much of a difference there can be between the two...
>"Excellent documentation on the temperature on August 4, 1892, was presentedAnyone who would deem that 83 is not 'sweltering hot', has not
>[in these articles]. A reproduction of the U.S. Weather Service document was
>included by Mr. Maynard F. Bertolet, editor of the Lizzie Borden Quarterly.
>Given the documentation, it can be recorded that the murders were not
>committed on a sweltering hot day."
experienced a typical muggy southern New England summer day...
And again, nothing is said about WHERE the recording station was in
relation to Fall River, and I can't stress enough the vast difference
just a mile or two from shore can make in the temperature in this neck of
>So if it's not the heat... maybe it's the humidity!And in August, you can count on it being extremely humid...
Because most weather systems that bring in the heat here are "Bermuda
Highs" (which is what is bringing us our hot weather today and for the
rest of the week)...a high pressure system sits out on the Atlantic,
generally in the vacinity of Bermuda, and pumps not only heat, but all
the moisture it picks up from the Atlantic, and dumps it in southern New
- Okay, here are the temperature and humidity readings I took today. I
live in the New Haven, Connecticut area, so the weather in my area is
pretty similar to what is going on in the Providence RI/Fall River MA
At 11:45 this morning, these were some sample reading from my
Bridgeport, Central HS (approx. 5 miles from shore): temp=82,
humidity=25%, heat index=79
Trumbull (approx. 8 miles from shore): temp=74, humidity=23%, heat
West Haven, Westshore MS (right on the shore): temp=69,
humidity=44%, heat index=76
We've had pretty low humidity for a 'Bermuda High'...in fact the NWS
has issued a fire alert for our state, since we've been so dry, and
now the unseasonably warm temps are exacerbating the situation...but
I think it shows the wide variance that can happen in temperatures
just a couple of miles apart, especially at the shore.
'As the crow flies', there is perhaps 3 or 4 miles between the
recording station in Bridgeport, and the one in Trumbull; Trumbull is
farther inland (where the temps are usually warmer) than the
Bridgeport station. But the Bridgeport station is in a fairly urban
area (brick and stone buildings, lots of paving), while the Trumbull
station is strictly suburban, lots of grass and trees.
Remember, the Bordens lived in a fairly 'urban' area of Fall River,
with paved roads and only a block or two from downtown, with its
brick and stone buildings. That creates a 'heat sink', an
environment that is warmer than the surrounding areas...
BTW, based on those readings, anyone who doesn't live here would say
we had a nice, mildly warm day. But let me tell you, most people
were complaining about how hot it was today, and did not generally
feel comfortable. And that's with low humidity. If the humidity had
been higher, it would have really felt sweltering today.
- All things considered weather-wise when you consider the clothing of the
day...the layers on layers, plus not allowing the arms or ankles to show, it
had to FEEL mighty hot.
Not only that, but if I had just butchered two people, I would be "sweating
- In a message dated 5/4/01 4:32:05 AM Eastern Daylight Time, Patsy751@...
<< All things considered weather-wise when you consider the clothing of the
day...the layers on layers, plus not allowing the arms or ankles to show, it
had to FEEL mighty hot. >>
I think you're missing the point. Part of the mythology around the murders is
that it was a sweltering hot day where the heat somehow contributed to the
murderer's passions. Temperature records show that it was a relatively mild
day -- NOT that it didn't feel hot, feel uncomfortable... but considering it
might have been in the 90s in Fall River that day in August, the facts prove
it wasn't... the "coolness" of the day was relative to what it might have
- From: PatriciaLu@...
>I think you're missing the point. Part of the mythology around the murdersI've never read anywhere that anyone at the time attributed the heat as
>is that it was a sweltering hot day where the heat somehow contributed to
>the murderer's passions.
being one of the causes for the murders.
What I HAVE read is accounts of statements made by the attorneys at the
trial who stated to the jury and audience "you all remember how hot it was
that day", and compared the heat on the day of the murders to the heat in
the courtroom during the June trial...
I find it hard to believe that EVERYONE would collectively hallucinate that
the day was hot if it was 'relatively mild'...
>Temperature records show that it was a relatively mildWhat I have been endeavoring to show with my daily temperature posts are two
things: first, that the temps that have been provided are NOT 'relatively
mild' in southern New England...it can be pretty uncomforatable, if high
humidity is factored in.
The second point I've been trying to make is that if the official temps for
that day were recorded down at the shore, the temps in downtown Fall River
could have been a good 10 to 15 degrees higher. That is quite a common
phenomenom in southern New England...onshore breezes off of Long Island
Sound, and especially the Atlantic (which would be the case in that area)
are quite cool, causing a 10 to 15 degree temperature difference between the
shoreline and even a mile or two inland...
Case in point...when I was driving into work at 11am this morning (I work a
later shift), the temp was supposedly in the high 70s, but the humidity has
gotten higher so it felt pretty hot, sticky and uncomfortable.
>NOT that it didn't feel hot, feel uncomfortable... but considering itThe facts prove nothing of the sort. No one has found out WHERE the
>might have been in the 90s in Fall River that day in August, the facts
> >prove it wasn't...
recording station was, and it was typical in those days for the recording
stations to be down at the shore, because of the emphasis on shipping in the
area. If that indeed was the case, then downtown Fall River could have been
10 to 15 degrees hotter than the temperature shown at the recording station.
We've been breaking high temperature records here in Connecticut (also over
in RI and southeastern MA) over the past 4 days...while the temperatures
have been in the 90s in most of the state (including where I work, which is
approx. 5 miles from the shoreline, and where I live, which is approx. 8
miles from the shore), the temps have never gotten above the low to mid 80s
directly AT the shore. And at 11am, the temps AT THE SHORE were in the 70s
(but got into the low to mid 80s by mid to late afternoon). So 100 years
from now, someone reading the headlines of Connecticut newspapers which are
loudly talking about the extended heatwave and how unseasonably hot it has
been for the first week of May, will declare it all a 'legend' and 'myth' if
all they have to go by are the temperatures recorded at the shore....
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- In a message dated 05/05/2001 2:28:17 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
<< I've never read anywhere that anyone at the time attributed the heat as
being one of the causes for the murders. >>
I would also like to bring up another point which has always bothered me. A
great deal is made about whether or not Lizzie was in the barn at the time of
Andrew's murder. (e.g. footprints in the loft, eating the pears outside,
looking for lead sinkers, who saw a woman coming from the barn etc) .
However why does it seem that the scrutiny of her whereabouts during Abby's
murder is not so intense. I am speaking from the vantage point of having
been in the house, and I just cannot fathom (even if Abby was surprised and
did not have time to scrream out) how Lizzie could not have heard
something,anything going on. (not to mention spotting someone before,
during , in between or after the murders.)
If she had nothing whatsoever to do with the murders, that murderer was one